Health: 96% now surviving testicular cancer

Fall in deaths from testicular cancer over last 40 years

Fall in deaths from testicular cancer over last 40 years

Health specialists have credited a chemotherapy wonder drug with virtually eradicating testicular cancer mortality.

In the East of England, around 190 people are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year. But figures released by Cancer Research UK reveal the survival rate has never been higher – with 96% of patients beating the disease.

The charity believes death rates could be further reduced, and that a cure for certain types of cancer could be within reach – but only through continued research into diseases and their possible treatments. Testicular cancer survival has risen by almost 30% in the last 40 years – an advance Cancer Research UK puts largely down to chemotherapy drug cisplatin, which its scientists helped to develop and test on different types of cancer.

The figures form part of the new Beat Cancer Sooner campaign which aims to highlight the role of research in the fight against cancer and encourage local people to support the charity. It is the most common cancer in men aged 15-49, with some 2,300 cases diagnosed each year in the UK.

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “A clear success story in cancer research has been the drug cisplatin, which our scientists helped to develop. This is helping almost all men with testicular cancer to beat the disease and is a shining example of what we can achieve through dedicated research.

“For some types of cancer, the word ‘cure’ is almost a reality – 96% of men with testicular cancer are now cured. But it’s important we recognise the 4% who aren’t surviving the disease, as well as the fact that we still need treatments to be kinder to patients in the future. It’s only by doing more research that we can bring forward the day when we are able to beat all types of cancer.”

Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, added: “The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in one of the testicles. Although most lumps in the testicle won’t turn out to be cancer, it’s important you get symptoms checked out as early as possible as this gives the best chance of cure.

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“Get used to how your testicles look and feel normally and if you notice a lump, swelling or persistent discomfort then go and see your GP.”

Cancer Research UK has a leaflet about what to look out for, which you can download from the website. You can also call the charity’s information nurses, if you have any questions, on freephone 0808 800 4040.